10 Things Great Dads Do (That Average Dads Don’t)


The Bad. The Good. The Great.

Raising three sons in the stress bubble was grueling. I was tired all the time. I went to bed after everyone else, after locking down the house. I woke up before anyone else to get in my quiet (Bible study and prayer) time. I focused on being the best husband and father I could be but struggled to see the forest of the trees! That is life in the Stress Bubble. Today, my sons encourage good fathering with their exemplary adult lives.


The Question.

What is a great father? What separates him from good, fair, or horrible fathers? Here are ten things we learned from our interview with Rick Johnson on episodes 154 and 156. Check them out!


The Answer.

Here are the top ten things great dads do. I ranked them in descending order from

least to most important.


10. Great Dads have fun with their kids.
They engage. They push them on the park swing they jump with them on the trampoline. They play Legos, sports, and video games. They have tea parties, play Hide and Seek, and let their daughters paint their nails and experiment with makeup on their faces!


9. Great Dads make their home a place their children want to bring

their friends.
They are the “cool place” for the neighborhood kids to come. Their home is loving, they have plenty of snacks for all, and activities to play.


8. Great Dads hang out with other Great dads and couples.

President John F. Kennedy famously said, “A rising tide causes all ships to lift.” Raising kids that turn out right is not an accident. It is strategic. Great dads hang out with other great dads who are raising great children.


7. Great Dads are the primary influencers in the lives of their families.

In this era where intersectionality is thriving in academia and has slithered into many churches, dads must be more engaged than ever. Who will pastor your kids? Who will educate your kids? You will.


6. Great Dads develop their brand.
Use memorable traditions and sayings. One of our family’s sayings is “We leave no Ramos behind.” It means we show up for each other, every time. Growing up this meant at least one parent was at every extracurricular event. It means we were at the finish line last Sunday when our oldest son ran his first half-marathon.


5. Great Dads allow their children to suffer.
You hear me right. We made our sons do chores growing up to pay for their room and board. We made them get jobs to pay for car insurance and gas when their grandparents gave them used cars. We did not bail them out of their poor choices. We allowed them to struggle, fail, and grow.


4. Great Dads prioritize who is most important.
Here is the proper order in case you have lost your way or are on your second or third marriage:

Jesus first.

Wife second (even if she is your second or third wife).

Children third.


3. Great Dads PROTECT THOSE they love.
Most of us will never have to deal with a physical intruder in the home, but we have voices fighting to cross the lines every day. What about educators with hidden agendas? What about friendship choices? What about newscasters? What about social media? What about music and television?


2. Great Dads lead their children to Jesus.
We, Shanna and I, led each of our sons to Jesus and baptized them when they were 13. It isn’t the pastor's job. It is the job of great moms and dads. If you want to learn how, here’s the easy way I do it.


1. Great Dads are an example of Christ with their life.

Paul admonished young believers, “Therefore, I exhort you, be imitators of me. (1 Corinthians 4:16)” Does your faith in Jesus represent him well? If your children following your example—only—what would their faith look like as adults?


The Rest

Did you know we have a growing YouTube channel? If you want to learn more, you can watch my teaching on this subject on YouTube.


Become the Best Dad for Your Kids, now.

Jim Ramos
President and Founder, Men in the Arena